Laptops forum

Question

Laptop becomes sluggish and makes beep sounds

by martinu_ / February 21, 2012 4:53 AM PST

I own a Dell M5010, with an AMD Phenom 2 P920 quad core cpu. The laptop becomes very sluggish as in when i am typing something , the key presses are so delayed that the laptop seems to type by itself. This occurs mostly after playing a video game for about 2-15 minutes and ,while in game, if i press 2-4 keys simultaneously, the laptop doesnt recognize new commands (keys pressed) and makes beeping sounds until the 2-4 keys pressed are executed.

Problem appears even without playing games and it fixes itself for some time after rebooting OR logging off.

I'm thinking it is caused by the CPU not being able to do more than 1 action at a time because if i type a few words, i cannot alt tab, minimize or do anything else until it finishes typing.

Also, the beeping sound is coming out from the speakers.

What could be the problem?

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Clarification Request
I scoured this post
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 21, 2012 12:15 PM PST

And could not find any mention of software/apps outside the stock ones. But glad you found it.

However, it seems strange that such would cause the CPU to overheat. That sounds like a design or product flaw. My laptops can run at 100% CPU load for many hours. This model seems to buckle much too soon.
Bob

All Answers

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Answer
Could be many things. let's list a few.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 21, 2012 5:36 AM PST
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Thanks for your reply!
by martinu_ / February 21, 2012 5:51 AM PST

It's not caused by malware nor overheating; I know it for sure because I even replaced the HDD twice (bad HDDs) thus reinstalling the OS multiple times.

If it would be caused by overheating whjle in a video game, then why would the problem be instantly gone after logging off? The temperature is a little high but not a problem (cleaned the heat sink recently, using a cooling pad too).

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That OS install.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 21, 2012 5:59 AM PST
In reply to: Thanks for your reply!

I find that most will use other than what Dell supplied and problems follow.

The beeping is a sign so why not replace the heat sink compound and clean just to be sure?

And let's be clear that any TEMP MONITORING is suspect. For my temp monitoring I use the following gear:
1. http://www.amazon.com/Raytek-MT4-Non-Contact-Thermometer-Sighting/dp/B0002198GY
(laser spot thermometer)

2. http://www.amazon.com/Cole-Parmer-Remote-Monitoring-Thermocouple-Thermometer-Deg/dp/B003NV0HM4/
(another thermometer which I can check other chips with.)

If you agree it's not that, what does Dell suggest?
Bob

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You asked "why?"
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 21, 2012 6:00 AM PST
In reply to: Thanks for your reply!

Because when we log off the CPU and such can nosedive as what we are running in our user space ends.

Then again you could look at what's running and try end tasking such as a test.
Bob

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Thanks for your reply!
by martinu_ / February 21, 2012 6:08 AM PST
In reply to: You asked "why?"

I am monitoring the temperature just by using software, speedfan and i8kfanGUI.

I will try to end processes one by one, even though I doubt I will find out the problem..

Any other suggestions are welcomed!

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Just one.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 21, 2012 6:13 AM PST
In reply to: Thanks for your reply!

Ask dell what they think needs to be done. I may have very opinionated views about heatsink, compounds, cleaning but it's only because 999 out of 1,000 laptops need that done at the shop. 998 folk will tell the folk at the shop counter it can't be that.
Bob

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Not overheating.
by martinu_ / February 21, 2012 6:24 AM PST
In reply to: Just one.

Unfortunately I'm at over 1000 KM from the nearest Dell shop and they were unable to help me online. I opened the laptop myself and thoroughly cleaned the heat sink and every other component, I am positive it is not caused by overheating.

As we speak, I have not opened any applications other than the browser since the last reboot and the laptop is becoming sluggish again, not so severe though; the temperature has been the same (+- 5C max).

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As long as the work is not done.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 21, 2012 6:39 AM PST
In reply to: Not overheating.

I can't see it being anything else but the usual. I don't read where you removed the heat sink to wipe off and replace the old compound. This also lets us inspect that the parts are installed proper as we button it up.

I know this area is too much for most to do themselves so the next best thing is to ship it to Dell and let them do their thing.

You did not write about that fresh OS install. Again, it's an area that many will not install the factory load and we find so many errrors there.
Bob

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Thanks for your reply!
by martinu_ / February 21, 2012 6:46 AM PST

I would've shipped it to Dell a long time ago but I need it every day.

I suspect there's something wrong with the CPU because when the laptop becomes sluggish, I cannot do 2 actions at the same time (i.e. press two keys which would trigger 2 actions at the same time), but they will be somehow queued and executed one after another, time during which I cannot do any other action.

Are there any tests for the CPU and/or the motherboard? The BIOS tests don't find anything wrong.

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You won't like the test.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 21, 2012 6:50 AM PST
In reply to: Thanks for your reply!

If we can, we swap the CPU but in many laptops that means the motherboard has to be swapped since the CPU is soldered down on most boards.

It's a shame you are dismissing the usual repairs for this issue. I know that most folk will run some software to report the temp and then convince themselves and tell everyone "it's not that."

The counter folk are trained to nod and agree and then let the techs do the work anyway. I was hoping you could see how this plays out many times a day in shops all over the world. And I hope you don't take offense at that.

So try again with the canned air on the vents and remove all those temp monitoring apps as they can cause the issue too.
Bob

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Answer
OTHER IDEAS. Read link.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 21, 2012 7:08 AM PST
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Thank you!
by martinu_ / February 21, 2012 7:38 AM PST

1. The HDD is ok, I've had bad experiences with the Samsung brand (had to change 3 in less than a year) but the Seagate I have now is fine.

2. I will try to look for BIOS updates.

3. I don't have that area since I changed the original HDD and I did not save those files.

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So item 3 is a possibility?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 21, 2012 7:43 AM PST
In reply to: Thank you!

Ask Dell for the EXACT STEPS on how to install your version of Windows.

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Nope.
by martinu_ / February 21, 2012 8:01 AM PST

This problem occurred when I had the original HDD as well. I know my way around a computer, I just cannot figure out what's causing the problem described so far.

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Then it is clearly a warranty issue.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 21, 2012 8:04 AM PST
In reply to: Nope.

It was defective when new so how to solve a defective machine? Let Dell fix it.

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I would.
by martinu_ / February 21, 2012 8:11 AM PST

I would but, as I've previously mentioned, cannot because I need the laptop for daily use and the nearest Dell shop is at about 1000 KM away. Thank you for your input though!

I will do a BIOS update and see what happens.

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Be sure to get Dell to tell you to do that!
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 21, 2012 8:22 AM PST
In reply to: I would.

But this is sad to read. I've lost count of folk depending on one lone machine. Or not keeping their files on backups. Even if just on a dropbox.

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Ok.
by martinu_ / February 21, 2012 8:25 AM PST

Ok, I'll try to contact Dell during this week and, hopefully, find out where the problem is. Unfortunately, I'm a student so I cannot afford more than 1 computer and I didn't save the files from that partition because they were mostly useless, I didn't need them at that time.

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"your files."
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 21, 2012 8:29 AM PST
In reply to: Ok.

My comment was about your files. The ones you can't lose. The story is what I've read too many times. Prepare for the worst.

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Saved files.
by martinu_ / February 21, 2012 8:47 AM PST
In reply to: "your files."

My files are safe, I've changed 3 HDDs and I've lost very few, if none, files.

Thank you for your concern and suggestions! I've emailed Dell support, im wiating for a reply now.

I've had someone else suggesting it might be a memory leak but memory diagnostic tools didn't show anything wrong; any comments?

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Solved!
by martinu_ / February 21, 2012 9:44 AM PST
In reply to: Saved files.

I've followed your advice and I started killing processes one by one; the problem seems to have been caused by a software that records keystrokes - similar to a key logger. After killing the process, the laptop seems to be running ok. Thank you for your help!

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Those scans by Grif
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 21, 2012 9:46 AM PST
In reply to: Solved!

Usually find keyloggers. I wonder if it was one of them?

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Problematic software
by martinu_ / February 21, 2012 10:47 AM PST
In reply to: Solved!

It was a keylogging software but it was installed and running on purpose, I was aware of its existence.

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